Don't Tread on the Soundman

"I knew the sound guy's stress level was rising [after] one of us said a microphone should go on one side of the stage and then we changed our mind," says Matt Rhea of Manganista, which played L.A.'s Viper Room on March 10.

"The head honcho sound guy started yelling at people left and right -- I mean really yelling, to get everything either on the stage or out of the venue. I couldn't figure out what the big deal was. He said, 'We're opening in two minutes. Move, move, move,' like a drill sergeant. Everything was kind of a blur and then, right before they opened the [club] doors, they closed this curtain around the stage and we had to work behind the curtain. They have some rule that the band can't be seen setting up....

"There were a couple more outbursts from the head honcho sound guy, mainly riding the sound guy who was working directly with us," continues Rhea. "Despite their military-like tactics, they were pretty damn efficient when everything was said and done. I'll take a little getting yelled at any day in exchange for a decent-sounding set." Manganista appears April 7 at the Ken Club.

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